Fire Sale: Bed-Stuy Landlords Plot to Burn Buildings with Squatters Inside

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Not that anyone needs more evidence that the real estate market in Brooklyn is insane—like, actually literally full of insane people—we heard today about a story that pretty much takes the cake in terms of featuring honest-to-goodness, real-life villains.  The New York Daily News reports that in an attempt “to cash in on the red-hot Brooklyn real estate market, two men were indicted for conspiring to torch a building and leave squatters who lived there as charred as a ‘well done steak.'” Seriously, though, if these guys had mustaches, they’d be twirling them.

The two men—Jean St. Fleur and Lalbahadour Byjoo—conspired with what turned out to be an undercover cop (d’oh!) to set fire to a Bed-Stuy building owned by Byjoo—a building that just so happened to contain two illegally squatting tenants. Byjoo is alleged to have wanted to burn down the building in order to profit off what is, as we all know, a red-hot Bed-Stuy real estate market. And, of course, committing arson for profit would be bad enough on its own, but the fact that Byjoo knew that the building housed occupants and still wanted to burn it down (he told the undercover officer  “’he doesn’t care if the occupants will be home’ when the fire starts and added that he ‘liked his steak well done'”), well, that’s pretty fucking low! Like, attempted murderously low.

The News further details that “the duplicitous duo is also charged with fraudulently obtaining titles of abandoned properties and then trying to sell them,” so, you know, they’re pretty much the epitome of what we talk about when we talk about the scum of New York. The two face up to fifteen years in prison if convicted, and here’s to hoping the book gets thrown at ’em.

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen



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